Brenda Cooper

Finally, a Promise Kept: Wordfire contracts for The Making War

Silevr shipMany years ago, I put out my first series of novels. It began with The Silver Ship and the Sea.  As often happens with new children, not everything went well.  The Silver Ship and the Sea came out to good reviews and sold well for an SF debut by an unknown author.  It won the Endeavor Award.  The second book came out on Black Thursday in 2008, or the day the stock market fell. Car dealerships closed.  Banking and investment institutions teetered. No one cared about my second book, especially not in hardcover at about $30.00 a copy.  I suspect two copies were purchased on release day – one by me and one by my mom. Not the publishers fault, not my fault, and worse things happened to many other people.  I didn’t even – really – have any room to complain. We didn’t lose our house or our jobs. But bad sales of book two (Reading the Wind) meant low orders for  book three (Wings of Creation), and so the series was cancelled one book shy of completion.

There it languished.

When you start telling a story, and people read your story, they want the end. It’s like a promise between a writer and a reader.  But I didn’t have any practical way to put out book four.  Each book has a whole story in it, but this series also has a clear meta-story that goes across all the books, and I plotted it as a four-book story.

I didn’t despair. I kept writing.  Prime Books published Mayan December, which did better than I thought it would.  Pyr bought the duology the  The Creative Fire and The Diamond Deep and then the related duology Edge of Dark and, soon, Spear of Light.  They may buy two more books set in a different world. Fairwood Press put out my first collection, Cracking the Sky. With the help of  five friends, I kickstarted a short fantasy collection, Beyond the Waterfall Door.   Edge of Dark was recently shortlisted for the PhillipK. Dick award.

Writing careers accrue to those who persevere. 

But in spite of the fact that my new books are doing well, the last book from that first series is still in me.  From time to time I dream of it.  Every once in a while a fan emails and asked where it is.

I’ve had contracts in hand since I was in Maine in January, and now it can be told.

Wordfire Press will reprint the first three books, and they will publish book 4, The Making War (which exists as a rough draft, about half done. So it needs more work…).  I’m also going to clean up the first three – without changing the story or the characters, who I love dearly. I’ll make it stronger, although with a light touch. I know a lot more now than I did ten years ago when I wrote Silver Ship in the first place.  They’re going to be great.

I don’t have pub dates yet, and those of you who follow me closely know how busy I am.  But I will get this done.  I will be able to keep my promise.